Day 4 – Arrival in Ubud

We left the hotel in Candidasa around 9am, drove about 40km first along the coast and then inland towards a town called Bangli. I have to comment on this… We saw one of our first traffic lights in Bangli, it’s strange to me that there are no traffic lights in sight, traffic somehow just flows!

Just outside Bangli town Minggus dropped me off along the side of the road. He said that there was a 15km climb ahead. I got started with the ride up the climb, within about 10 min it started raining, 10 min after that it was pouring harder than I have seen rain anywhere in a long time. The weather was still quite warm despite the rain and there was plenty of thunder and lightening. The climb was relentless, not a single downhill, it just went up and up, it got steeper as the road progressed.

Barbara was in the car behind me and she said that she was watching people as I rode past them in the rain, most people looked at me like I was a maniac, it is kinda crazy riding a bike in just my cycling pants while there is rain, thunder and lightening… One little boy looked at me from the side of the road, he had a look of understanding that only a child would have, I guess when we grow up we stop doing crazy things like riding around in the rain and that’s why people stared at me funny.

At the top of the climb i was quite thankful that the climbing had ended, it had been 1 hr of riding and my legs were feeling the pace I was pushing. Minggus and Ajus were waiting at the top, a place called Sakardadi. Ajus was going to join me, but only a bit later, so I rode alone for another 5 or 10 km, not sure of distance, was on a roll and riding hard.

Eventually the car turned off into a small tar road amongst farm lands. Ajus joined me and took me offroad, due to the rain Barbs decided to skip riding for the day. We rode through some farmlands, then had snacks, when we stopped Ajus said that we had set a new record, usually he rode that stretch in 1 hour, but we had taken 20min. The place we stopped somewhere near a village called Tano.

After snacks we hit the next stretch of offroad riding, awesome single track through forest, rice paddies and rural settlements. We stopped for lunch just outside of Ubud, Ajus said usually that stretch took 1,5 hours, we rode it in 30min, he looked exhausted. The place we had lunch was exquisite, we sat in little huts built over fish ponds that overlooked beautiful terraced rice paddies, idealic way to have lunch.

The last stretch after lunch was a short ride through the ride paddies into Ubud via back roads and small paths. Ajus and I arrived at the hotel much quick that Minggus and Barbara could drive.

Arrival at our Ubud hotel:

We checked into the Champlung Sari hotel where we would stay for 2 nights. The hotel looked pretty fancy with 2 pools, lovely gardens and interesting old & new architecture. We settled into room and I left Barbara to relax while I went out for a short 30min run. During my run I did a little bit of scouting to see what was where in the surrounding area.

Once i got back to the hotel from my run, i had a quick shower, then headed out again to drop off our laundry and buy some beer / snacks from the Cirlce K shop near by. We relaxed in our room and drank a phat G&T.

That evening had a free dinner night, which meant we had to buy our own dinner. During my run I had scouted out where we could go that evening. Ubud was a lot more commercial and tourist focused that the previous few days, but still had an interesting charm despite the tourist focus.

Barbara and I headed out from our hotel and walked up a busy road, our first stop would be to change some money at the “Money Changer”. We were keen on a beef burger with chips, so thats what we deced would be our new mission. Finding a place we liked proved to be harder than we thought, after walking around for over an hour looking at what Ubud had to offer we found a place Oops Bar. They had a cheese burger on the menu, mmmm,…. They also claimed to have the best mojito’s in Ubud and it was happy hour buy two for the price of one. Our meal was delicious and i must say they made pretty damn good mojito drinks too!

Barbs was stuffed, but I still wanted to find desert. On our walk around we had seen a Gelato Ice Cream shop, I was sold, I wanted two scoops In a cone. I choose blueberry and chocolate, what a perfect mix of flavours.

On the way back to our hotel I suggested to Barbs that we pop by a “spa” place we had liked earlier that evening. It’s was a humble little place, not too fancy, but we got a good feeling about it. We choose their Trinity package for 150000 Rupiah each equivalent to R150 back home. We got 2 hours with a Balinese massage, a facial and special head massage to end off the session. After that we headed off to bed around 11 pm.

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